Turning the tide of war

  • How could we give reasons to seemingly losing side to continue to fight? Any good ideas? Currently the course of wars mostly determinated in the middle of war when even if one side slighly lose its momentum. Its very boring and anticlimatic ending.

    Maybe giving an income bonus only once if their income significantly lowered and introducing draw option other than losing or winning?

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A few comments. In terms of A&A as a board game, a complaint I’ve sometimes read is that the problem is actually the opposite one: that games go on forever because the losing side has no reason to quit, especially if it’s only losing by a small margin relative to the winning side.

    In terms of actual wars, I can’t think of any examples of a major war in which one side threw up its hands and gave up the fight as soon as it lost a bit of momentum. It’s actually the opposite that tends to happen in major conflicts: the greater the level of death and destruction, the more the participants tend to dig in their heels and press on with the fight – WWI being a classic example of a war that got out of control on a scale never anticipated by the participants, who by 1915 found themselves trapped in a conflict they could neither end nor win. Apart from Russia, which quit in late 1917 because of regime change, all the participants kept slugging it out until late 1918. And in WWII, Germany and Japan both kept fighting long past the point where it was clear to everyone that they were going to lose. It’s not rational, but there are typically a combination of reasons for why it happens anyway:

    1. The principle of “don’t throw good money after bad”, whereby you cut your losses in a losing situation before things can get worse, sounds like a rational thing to do in war, but it can easily get overruled by another principle which sometimes gets invoked by generals and politicians: “If we quit now, all our previous losses will have been for nothing.” In WWI, this was often combined with the wishful thinking that “One more big push will bring victory,” which explains the horrendously costly Verdun-style big pushes of 1915…and 1916…and 1917…and 1918, only the last of which (on the Allied side) finally did bring victory.

    2. A related point is that total war demands total objectives. To give the example of WWI: when millions of people have died and when the entire economies of nations (and their civilian workers) have been mobilized, you can’t just sit down with your opponents, sort out the obscure Balkan rivalry that started it all, trade a couple of colonies and call it a day. The conflict becomes one of national survival. None of the regimes on the losing side survived WWI, and four empires were destroyed in the process.

    3. WWII is an interesting case. Germany kept going until its armies were almost literally fighting back to back down the centre of the country, with the Anglo-Americans on one side and the Russians on the other. Part of the reason, of course, was that Hitler refused to quit and that he still had the power to compel his armies to keep fighting. A less obvious reason was that the Wehrmacht, who knew perfectly well that the game was up, greatly preferred the prospect of surrendering to the Americans and the British rather than the Soviets, and wanted to buy time for that purpose. Japan is a different story. In its case, part of the reason for holding out more and more stubbornly as the Americans got closer and closer to Japan (just look at Iwo Jima and Okinawa) was to convince the Americans that an invasion of the Japanese home islands would be both necessary and horrifically costly in lives, and thereby to somehow convince the Americans to seek the alternatives of a negotiated settlement. That turned out to be a miscalculation: the Americans, who still remembered Pearl Harbor, were determined to defeat Japan at whatever the cost might be…and they had the atomic bomb up their sleeve. The other reason Japan held out was the death-before-dishonour tradition which the Japanese Army had carried over from the days of the Bushido code. In fairness, nobody likes to lose face and nobody likes to lose. One can sympathize on that basis with the careful wording of Hirohito’s rescript (essentially Japan’s declaration of surrender), which said that the war had “not necessarily developed to Japan’s advantage” – probably the biggest understatement in recorded history.

  • It is just because there is no economy management, separate peace, draw option, impact of public support etc in A&A games. If one side even lost slighly its momentum in middle rounds then it will most likely lost and there is nothing that can turn the tide of war at that point no matter if losing side decide to continue or not. Personally I wouldn’t want games become too complicated but I don’t want this kind of end either.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Iv’e always felt that in the game axis has to win by a certain turn to win. Once you go be on a certain turn then your going into late 45 46 47 etc.
    Victory city’s and or points seems to get a quicker out come in our games. If axis don’t have 30 points by end of any turn up to 10 rounds they lose. Now of course this may change based on better players. We usually can see if the axis will get 30 points on turn 10 or not or maybe 11.

    Your probably looking at a bit different scenario.
    Losing side

    1. Gets some kind of atomic bomb
    2. Certain low income receive so much more money from bank based on a LL from another country
    3. Certain time ( income ? ) a bunch of inf and or pieces pop up on capital.

    But then all players have to agree but the winning side will say we won but losing side got the end win.

    Something to that affect ? But then game may drag on.

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